For those just tuning in:
July 15, 2006-- Intro class--we make the final decision to adopt through the foster system, and fall in love with our agency and staff.
August, 2006--Fill out application for the agency (we are not working directly with the state), gather financial documents, letters of recommendation, etc. and are accepted.
October 21-23, 2006--The clock "officially" starts ticking as dh and I attend our full weekend, 30-hour PRIDE training session required by the state. The next week, we frantically begin rearranging our schedules to fit in the evening classes that our agency requires before your homestudy can actually begin.
November, 2006--Dh and I work through a massive packet of questions known as "homework." Designed to get us to think through our decision to adopt as well as to tip social workers off to any red flags, the sheer volume of questions is mind-numbing. Dh and I finally complete the paperwork on a flight back from a retreat in San Diego and toast success with watered-down Sprite in plastic airline cups. More classes.
December, 2006--Are frustrated to learn that despite having turned in our pre-homestudy paperwork, we'll have to wait until January to begin the actual interview process due to the holiday vacation schedule.
January & February 2007--Homestudy. Four interviews total are conducted; one with just dh and I, one with dh alone, one with me alone, and one with the entire family. Our social worker says she'll continue to work on whether or not we should pursue foster licensing through the state or through a private Christian agency.
February, 2007--First email from our PRIDE group announcing a successful adoption. The couple, who had already been chosen by a birthmother before they took the class, are understandably ecstatic.
March, 2007--Homestudy is written, and we are referred to the private agency for licensing. A new social worker comes to make a home inspection, gives us a list of "to-do's" and says she'll be back in a month or so to make a final walk-through.
April, 2007--We scurry like rats, trying to gather things like fire ladders and CPR masks to make our home safer for a new child than it previously was for our own bio kids. Have the first state licensing homestudy meeting. Bet you didn't know it takes two homestudies to adopt via foster-care through a private agency, did you? Also, collect immunization records for bio kids, shot record for dog, copy of driving records for dh and I, and more and more documents, ad nauseum.
May, 2007--Our final walk-through is a success, and we have our last homestudy interviews. The homestudy will hopefully be written by the end of May, we are told. Our agency sends out their placement coordinator for our "big" interview--the "what is the right fit for your family" interview.
June, 2007--The final homestudy is not completely written, and we have a mild heart attack when we are told that the laws in our state have recently changed, and if our homestudy is not submitted to the state by June 18, we will have additional hoops to jump through. Blessedly, it is submitted ... on June 16.
July 14, 2007--Dh and I receive copies of our foster license in the mail. We feel official ... and start eyeing the caller ID suspiciously every time the phone rings.
July 24, 2007--I take a call from our agency's placement coordinator asking for permission to submit our homestudy for consideration for a child she had heard about in that morning's presentation symposium. The child is a 6 mo. old Caucasian baby girl. Dh and I pray before eagerly saying yes.
August 3, 2007--We have heard nothing back on the little girl. A state worker calls us and asks if we would be wiling to take placement of a sibling set, boys ages 3.5 and 18 mos. Uncomfortable dealing with the state worker directly, we refer her to our agency.
August 7, 2007--Our agency's placement coordinator says she has heard nothing back from the social worker for the little girl, but suggests hanging in there a little longer. She mentions a different sibling set, a boy age 3 and a girl, 15 mos. and says to pray about them. Dh and I do, but feel no indication that these are our kids.
August 22, 2007--About to lose my mind, I leave a long, whiny message for the placement coordinator begging her to call me back and tell me that she has no information so that I can stop wondering.
August 23, 2007--She calls back and confirms: "I feel like I sent your homestudy into a black hole." Since submitting our stuff, she has learned that this particular worker has a reputation of being difficult to reach and slow in moving. Placement Coordinator suggests that the lack of response may be a blessing, as the headaches of having an unresponsive worker as you move closer to finalization can be hard to bear. Time to move on, she says.
August 28, 2007--Placement Coordinator calls and asks permission to submit our paperwork on another child. This is a baby girl, age 7 mos., Caucasian. We laugh because dh and I have specifically requested Hispanic children and so far,everyone's been white, white, white. Dh and I pray over the situation and call back to confirm that we want to be submitted. The coordinator sounds very positive, because she says that no one else has been submitted as of yet.
September 7, 2007--I call to check in. No news.